Sunday, 15 December 2019

22 Things I've Learned in 22 years

As I am going to be turning twenty-two this week, I thought that I would reflect on the most important life lessons that I have learned in the whole twenty-two years of my existence. Since writing this list, I have realised that many of the lessons that I have learned over the years relates to happiness which in itself I think is essential to live the best possible life.

1. Not everyone will like you, and that is ok. I spent far too many years trying to please others and attempting to make others like me when in reality, if I had just let those people go, I would have been a happier person.

2. Having a few true friends is better than ten fake friends. I'm sure most people can relate but at school you seem to have tonnes of friends, but how many of those friends could you really trust with absolutely anything? Probably not many, I have found that I am much happier with just a few real friends.

3. True friends will remain your friends. Following on from the previous point, if your friends are happy to cut you out of their lives, then they are not worth your time. Instead, focus on the friends who do want to be in your life and who are still standing by your side.

4. Long distance friendships can work and can be the strongest. I met my best friend miles away from home and we now live even further away from each other, we have been friends for almost six years and we are probably closer than we ever have been. We don't get to see each other often so we really value each others company when we do get to spend time together.

5. Don't feel pressured to do things that you're not ready to do. I cannot express this enough, I have felt pressured to do so many things including going to Sixth Form and University straight from school, coming off of my medication and learning to drive but you need to go at your own pace and do these things when they're right for you, if not its likely that you'll be unsuccessful.

6. Alcohol is overrated. Alcohol has never been anything that interests me much. Don't get me wrong, I do occasionally go out and drink but nine times out of ten, I end up embarrassing myself and feeling like rubbish for the next five days. It is not worth it, especially if you are on medication that you shouldn't be consuming alcohol with.. trust me.

7. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. You are not the person that you keep comparing yourself to, you don't live their life, you don't know their struggles and chances are that they may even be comparing themselves to you. Learn to love yourself and who you are.

8. Don't take anything for granted. Over the past few years I keep hearing about tragedy after tragedy and it has made me realise that you cannot take anything for granted as you have no idea what tomorrow may bring. Spend time with your family and friends, doing the things that you love.

9. Treat people how you want to be treated. This is something that I try to go by because if you treat people how you wish to be treated then you're more likely to get that treatment back. It doesn't always work, but at least you can say that you were kind.

10. Sometimes, it is essential to put yourself first. I am a nightmare for putting everyone else's happiness before myself but sometimes, the only option you have is to put yourself first and I really try to spend more time doing this because your happiness is just as important as everyone else.

11. You don't need to have everything figured out to be successful. When I was sixteen and leaving high school, I really believed that I needed to have some insight into what I wanted to do with my life but in reality, I then spent two and a half years studying A-Levels that I didn't want to do to end up dropping out. At twenty years old, I finally decided on what I wanted to do with my life and I have therefore taken the steps to make this happen. There is no time limit on your success.

12. Everyone feels lost at times. I have had many patches throughout the past few years where I have felt completely lost and hopeless but I wish I had known that everyone goes through patches where they feel lost and are doubting their decisions.

13. Everything happens for a reason.

14. Do more of what makes you happy. If you spend your life always pushing aside the things that makes you happy because you don't have time or much money, then what was the point of living your life?

15. Healing is not linear and time is the greatest healer. I can honestly say that time is the best healer. You have to continue to work hard and eventually you'll realise that things have actually improved. Give it time, even if it feels like you've already waited an eternity.

16. Taking a break can be more beneficial than you may think. When I dropped out of education at eighteen, I felt that I had ruined my entire future and that I would never be successful. There are always alternative routes, I am now at University which I never thought I would be and whilst I'm here I will just add that you're never too old to go to university. 

17. Surrounding yourself with positive people will add positivity to your mind.

18. Never be ashamed of your struggles, embrace them and use them to inspire others. I spent far too many years trying to hide my struggles but speaking up was the best decision I made and I have now decided to use my struggles to start this blog and raise awareness which has given me so much more confidence and has given me a great distraction technique.

19. Everything will be ok in the end. Bad days cannot and will not last forever.

20. Embrace change, as it can be good. I am someone who hates change but if I hadn't decided to change my habits, life and mindset then I wouldn't be where I am today.

21. Stop your negative habits and your whole mindset will change. I spent too long at war with myself and therefore ended up trying to destroy every inch of myself through self-harm. Stopping self-harming was one of the hardest things I ever did, but it was so incredibly worth it as when a stressful situation arises, I now have the skills to deal with it instead of just resorting to self-destruction.

22. Suicide is never the answer. I promise, things will get better and you'll want to be alive to see it happen, please don't give up.

That is all from me today, I would love to hear the life lessons that you have learned and I hope you all have the best Christmas and New Year possible.

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Friday, 6 December 2019

The Reality of a First-Year Student Mental Health Nurse

Some of you may be aware that I am currently a First-Year Student Nurse; studying my Mental Health Undergraduate Degree and I am already almost one semester in.. how? So far, University has been a rollercoaster and a half, there has been so many ups and some quite bad downs along the way also but I have dropped out yet, so something must be going right.

I am still adapting to University life and I have found it quite difficult to adjust to. Lectures are something that I haven't experienced before and I really struggle to concentrate for long periods of time in a room of 300 people, but they're getting better. I much prefer Seminars to lectures because they're usually course specific instead of being targeted at all student nurses; specifically adult nurses and they're also taught in a much smaller group.

One thing that I really do enjoy is that as a student nurse, one of our modules is all about skills which we learn in a skills lab with hospital equipment, they're much more interactive and far more interesting. So far we've covered topics such as Manual Handling, Mental Health First Aid, Basic Life Support and Medication Administration where we got to play around with needles and fake skin. I'm sure that people who have previously worked in care wouldn't enjoy the skills sessions as much as I have because I haven't done anything like it before, whereas they most likely have. 

I probably should have mentioned sooner but I am actually studying locally and are therefore living at home and commuting each day which has its advantages and disadvantages. It is really good in terms that I still get the comfort of my own home, I get to see my family and cat all the time, I'm not paying a ridiculous amount of rent and I still get my double bed but equally, I feel like I am missing out on the whole University experience which isn't all bad in my case as I am an 'older' student and I don't enjoy drinking much but so many people have become such good friends with their flatmates and they're always going out and doing fun things which I do envy slightly but at the same time, I think I'd still prefer to live at home, even if it means waking up between 5:30-6am each morning.

I am actually on an updated course because with health courses, they need updating every few years in order to maintain required standards and after talking to 2nd and 3rd year students, it is very different but there are also some perks that come with it, including opportunities after the degree. The way that the course is structured means that the entire first semester is theory and placement doesn't start until January which is getting quite repetitive and is a lot of information to absorb at one time. Thankfully, on the new course I am only at University for 3 days a week but that does come with tonnes of weekly directed and independent study that needs to be completed at home.

Talking about placement, I finally do have my first placement allocation and my uniform which is exciting, I am going to be working on an Inpatient ward for older people with Complex Mental Health Problems which I think will be interesting and I am sure that I will learn a lot. 

One last topic that I thought I'd address is studying a mental health nursing degree with mental health conditions; it can be challenging to say the least. Before starting Uni, I would have classed my Mental Health as fairly stable whereas Uni seems to have completely ruined that concept and I do have patches where I have a few bad days but luckily, I am mostly able to pull myself out of them. I don't think that the stress or lack of sleep is helping but I also have found Uni to be quite lonely at times, especially when you aren't living on campus because it seems that everyone has their friends and that everyone who lives on campus are able to easily meet up, whereas its much more difficult when you're living at home.

That is all from me today, I am aiming to write some more student nurse related posts over the next few months, especially throughout placement and I am sure that I will be back soon.

Thank-you for reading, Tay x
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